30ºF

Today in 2003: Worst ice storm in years hits Southeast Michigan, nearly 500K lose power

50,000 without power for entire week

2003 Michigan ice storm. (skywarn6283/YouTube)
2003 Michigan ice storm. (skywarn6283/YouTube)

On April 4, 2003, residents in Southeast Michigan woke up to one of the worst ice storms on record.

Here's recap info from NWS:

One of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent years affected most of Southeast Lower Michigan late 2002 into early 2003. Several storms dumped heavy amounts of snow, mainly over extreme Southeast Lower Michigan. This lead to Detroit's ninth snowiest winter on record since 1870 with 60.9 inches measured. 

An early spring ice storm on April 3rd-4th crippled portions of Southeast Lower Michigan. A storm center dropped heavy amounts of rain and freezing rain along with thunderstorms.

This led to a significant icing event with ice build-ups of a 1/4" to around an inch north of an Ann Arbor-Detroit line. By far, the worst of the storm was over Oakland County where up to an inch of ice accumulated.

Nearly a half-million customers were without power over Southeast Lower Michigan and some stated it was the worst ice storm since 1976.

Over 50 million dollars in damage was accrued as a result of this destructive ice storm.

We found some footage of the ice storm damage on YouTube. Take a look below:


About the Author: